Vietnam jumps up trade rankings ladder

By VnExpress   December 2, 2016 | 07:00 pm GMT+7
Vietnam jumps up trade rankings ladder
A woman checks coffee beans that are sorted by size at a coffee factory in Hanoi, Vietnam November 22, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Kham

The country jumps 14 places in a global ranking of its capacity to enable trade.

Vietnam has jumped from 87th to 73rd out of 136 economies in the recently released Global Enabling Trade Report 2016.

According to the report, Vietnam has significantly improved in its capacity to enable trade.

The report, published by the World Economic Forum and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation every two years, said Vietnam’s better ranking has been mainly driven by reforms in customs procedures. The country has reduced import and export admin time by a total of 30 hours through simpler customs clearance procedures.

The country is ranked 86th for efficiency and transparency of border administration, reflecting recent efforts by the government to streamline procedures at the border and reduce the burden of inspections by multiple agencies, said the report.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s improvement was dragged down by “uneven performance” in infrastructure. The study showed Vietnam has done better in the availability and quality of transport infrastructure, up 14 spots to 66th, but worse in infrastructure services, down 9 places to 60th.

The country ranked 77th in domestic market access while being placed at 79th in foreign market access.

Vietnam, as well as the other Southeast Asian countries, was recognized for keeping a more open market for international trade than either the E.U. or the U.S.

“[Association of Southeast Asian Nations] ASEAN members have become more open while enjoying better foreign access, as a result of the region’s steady integration and thanks to a number of trade and investment agreements with its main partners,” the report said.

"ASEAN’s progress as an economic power comes at a time when the U.S. and E.U. are becoming less open," added the report.

Other ASEAN countries mentioned in the report were Thailand (63rd, up 9 places), the Philippines (82nd, up 18) and Laos (93rd, up 7).

Vietnam's export-led economy is also faced with the risk of experiencing slower growth as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s trade protectionism could create more trade barriers, said HSBC analysts in a recently released report.

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